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Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

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Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

Post by (A/229) Comanchero86 on Mon 13 Feb 2017 - 5:48

At 2 A.M. on February 17, 1974, Robert K. Preston, a United States Army private first class, stole a United States Army Bell UH-1 Iroquois ("Huey") helicopter from Fort Meade, Maryland, flew it to Washington, D.C. and hovered for six minutes over the White House before descending on the south lawn, about 100 yards from the West Wing. There was no initial attempt from the Executive Protective Service to shoot the helicopter down, and he later took off and was chased by two Maryland State Police helicopters. Preston forced one of the police helicopters down through his maneuvering of the helicopter, and then returned to the White House. This time, as he hovered above the south grounds, the Executive Protective Service fired at him with shotguns and submachine guns. Preston was injured slightly, and landed his helicopter. After being taken into custody Preston indicated he was upset over not being allowed to continue training to be a helicopter pilot, and staged the incident to show his skill as a pilot. He spent 1 year in prison, fined $2400, received a general discharge

I remember this incident like it was yesterday. This is what what led to the key switch being installed in all our helicopters. As some of you may remember, before this you simply switched on the battery to crank. After the key switch mod, the aircraft will not start without a key. We installed this mod as a direct result of the "Huey on the White House Lawn" incident.  I believe this was the fastest aircraft modification ever approved outside of combat.
We also fabricated sheetmetal straps to lock the doors of our Hueys.

Unfortunately for me, In the 101st Airborne, ad hoc stick time for crew chiefs stopped after this incident as well. Good times.



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Re: Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

Post by (A/229) Utley on Mon 13 Feb 2017 - 7:39

A PFC stole a helicopter, landed it on the White House lawn not once but twice, was shot at, got shot, arrested, tossed in the can for 1 year, fined $2400, and managed to get a general discharge? I got a general discharge for being 15lbs overweight and on a medical.......
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(A/229) Utley
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Re: Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

Post by (A/229) Rob on Mon 13 Feb 2017 - 22:34

That is an awesome story! Thanks for sharing. I never knew about this
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Re: Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

Post by (B/229) Blade on Thu 2 Mar 2017 - 0:00


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Re: Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

Post by (A/229) Rob on Thu 2 Mar 2017 - 1:15

I wonder what ever happened to the guy. He might be a member of our group.
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Re: Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

Post by (B/229) Blade on Thu 2 Mar 2017 - 1:16

(A/229) Rob wrote:I wonder what ever happened to the guy. He might be a member of our group.

Some commenter said he might have died 2009.

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Re: Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

Post by (A/229) Swoop on Thu 2 Mar 2017 - 14:18


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Re: Huey on the Whitehouse Lawn

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